Gottemoeller adresses biosecurity for University of Virginia community

Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, Rose Gottemoeller. | Courtesy of the U.S. State Department

Rose Gottemoeller, undersecretary of state for Arms Control and International Security, spoke Friday at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville about biosecurity and the prevention of biological threats in light of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Gottemoeller said that the need for a capable procedure to protect and prevent outbreaks on of disease on a global scale are not specific to the Ebola virus; however, the outbreak underscores why it is needed.

Gottemoeller spoke about the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA,) which aims to improve detection, prevention and response efforts of the global community. Currently there are 44 member states and many international health organizations, the most prominent being the World Health Organization (WHO.)

Recent reports from the WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate over 22,000 cases and more than 9,000 fatalities in the most heavily affected countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Gottemoeller states that the disease's spread to the U.S., U.K, Spain and other African countries highlights the damage an outbreak of biologic agents can cause. 

She states that global health systems and their capabilities to combat against emerging diseases and threats is tied to security for the nation and for the international community. Gottemoeller also discussed how the State Department is working closely with the officials at home and in West Africa to combat the outbreak.